Sony has done an excellent job at being transparent with its progress on the bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to a number of Xperia devices. It has kept users aware of what's going on throughout the process, as well as shared alpha and beta builds along the way. Now, though, it looks like the beta days are behind them and the build is ready for prime time for a certain Xperia devices.
Before Sony Ericsson became Sony Mobile, the company seemed committed to developing an Android 4.0 update, going so far as to release alpha ROMs for a number of Xperia devices, and more recently a beta for the Xperia Play. Here we are, a quarter of the way into 2012, and Xperia owners are still gnawing on last year's official Gingerbread. Although, there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel; the Sony Mobile blog has announced that the first Android 4.0 updates will roll out to select Xperia phones in mid-April.
Back in December of '11, Sony [Ericsson] released an Android 4.0 alpha ROM for the Xperia Arc S, Neo V, and Ray. The Sony dev teams has now released an update to this ROM, bringing into its beta stages.
Since the previous release, Sony has made a number of improvements to the ROM, including an updated UI, improved lockscreen, activated GSM modem and FM radios, and a quick dialer.
Unfortunately, Google Apps are not available for this ROM, nor are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as they're both still waiting for approval before they can implemented into the product.
There must be something weird going on with manufacturers lately - first Huawei released an alpha build of ICS for the Honor, and now Sony Ericsson (soon to be just Sony) has released an ICS ROM for certain unlocked Xperia devices, including the Arc S, Neo V, and Ray.
Since it's an alpha ROM, it's not made for day-to-day use, as it is limited to just a few functions at the moment.
Skysoft... errr, I mean Skype updated its previously measly Android device support from 5 devices to more than 20 today with the introduction of version 2.1 of its Android app. There are no new features outside of expanded device support, which was badly needed in order for the app to climb out of the sea of 1-star reviews (although stability and quality improvements would have made today's release even sweeter).